Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest For Law Students and Young Lawyers

Deadline: 02/20/2015

Competition Website

Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest
For Law Students and Young Lawyers

For Innovative Research and Writing on Lawyers’ Professional Liability

An Annual Competition

Concluding every April

$5,000 Prize & a free trip to the LPL National Legal Malpractice Conference!

Contest Deadline & Information

Deadline for Submission

ONLINE entries MUST be submitted by 11:59 PM CST on February 20, 2015.

MAILED entries MUST be postmarked by February 20, 2015.

Contest Mission

The contest encourages original and innovative research and writing in the area of legal malpractice law, professional liability insurance and loss prevention.


* Cash award of $5,000.

* All expense paid trip to the Spring 2015 National Legal Malpractice Conference in Washington, DC, April 8-10, 2015.


The Ed Mendrzycki Essay Contest is conducted by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability and the San Francisco law firm of Long & Levit LLP. The 2015 contest is administered and judged by a subcommittee designated by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability.

The Assignment

The 2015 Contest Essay Hypothetical involves liability issues arising from the breach of a law firm’s computer network and the subsequent leaking of a client’s confidential information.


Contest Rules


Essay Requirements


Entries should be written as scholarly essays. All entries must be prepared for this contest and not previously published. Each entrant is required to assign to the ABA all rights, title and interest in the essay submitted. It is the policy of the ABA, however, to release all assigned rights in all but the winning essay.

Essays should not exceed 3,000 words, including quoted matter and citations. Footnotes are not permitted and citations should be incorporated into the main text.

Entrants may seek general feedback on their draft essays from professors, colleagues, and the like. An essay submitted to the competition, however, must be entirely the entrant’s own work product and may not be written or edited by any other person.

The essay should be typewritten, double-spaced on 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages. The number of words on each page should be entered on the bottom right hand corner of each copy. The total number of words should be entered on the last page. In computing the number of words, all articles and prepositions should be counted. Count numbers and abbreviations as words. For example F.2d = 1 word; 746 F.2d 619 = 3 words.

Complete and sign the paper entry form (PDF) or you can use theOnline Contest Entry & Agreement Form, providing your full name, address and telephone number as indicated.




For identification, an entry number will be assigned on receipt of the entry, and the entrant will be advised of the number. One cover sheet showing the name, address and telephone number of the entrant, together with the entrant’s title for the entry, should be submitted with the essay. No identification other than the title should appear on the essays themselves. The cover sheet will be removed before the essay is read by the judges to assure objectivity in the judging process.




The contest is open to Young Lawyers Division or Law Student Division members of the ABA, in good standing as of February 20, 2015, according to the membership records of the Association. Excluded from the competition are previous winners; current ABA officers and members of the Board of Governors; employees of the ABA or its sections, divisions and committees; and officers and employees of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Endowment). Only one essay may be submitted by each entrant, and no co-authored essays will be accepted.




Essays will be judged by a subcommittee designated by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability and the San Francisco law firm of Long & Levit LLP, whose decision will be final and whose names cannot be divulged. The ABA and the judges reserve the right to award no prize.


National Legal Malpractice Conference


The winner of the contest will receive round-trip coach airfare to the 2015 Spring American Bar Association National Legal Malpractice Conference in Washington, DC, lodging for up to two nights during the conference, and will be a guest at conference meals and events.


How to Submit Entries


Electronic Submission


If you would like to submit your entry electronically, you will need to fill out and submit the Contest Entry & Agreement Form (Online)Please email your essay separately to Marcia Yarbrough. Your essay should not exceed 2.5 MB and should be in one of the following formats: MS Word, Word Perfect, Adobe PDF, TXT, or RTF. Your entry must be submitted by 11:59 pm Central time on February 20, 2015.


Paper Submissions


If you would prefer to submit your entry by mail, you will need to download, print, and fill out the paper Contest Entry & Agreement Form (PDF). The completed form and two copies of your essay should be mailed first-class, without folding, on or before February 20, 2015. U.S. Postal Service postmark will determine mailing date. The materials may also be sent via an express delivery service, if they are posted on or before February 20, 2015.

Entries should be mailed to:

American Bar Association
LPL Levit Essay Contest
Marcia Yarbrough
FL 19
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654


Additional Information

For further information, contact Marcia Yarbrough or call (312) 988-5763.


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